Saturday, September 28, 2013

Introducing... Alice&Victor !!

Last week I mentioned that I was thinking about opening a shop on Etsy... Well, this past week I did it!


It took me so long to come up with a name... I love this one, though - it's the kid's middle names.  I'm excited to show you the shop header that I'm working on.  Hopefully soon!

That's why I haven't been writing much this past week; my spare time has been spent dreaming up this new shop and reading up on all the stuff I need to know to open.  I took the plunge and the first step of actually creating my Etsy shop the other day, and am in the process of coming up with the design / look and am starting to list some items. 

I just came in from a little product photo shoot in the back yard to get more pictures of my goodies - Madeline said she was watching me out the window for a bit and that I look like a pro!  Ha!  I did pick up two pieces of white foam board at the dollar store the other day for a makeshift lightbox; propping them up on a lawn chair together with the use of my reflector seemed to work ok - I'll know once I have a look on the computer if I need to adjust anything.

So mark your calendars and get ready to shop! October 10 is the date I am planning to launch this thing.  Thanks to so many of you for being supportive of me and my little shop in the past. (And another one - in the comments of my last post a friend said she found me another place to sell!  I appreciate you, Deb!)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Handmade by Carolyn...

So I mentioned last time that I planned to do a one day sale in November...

It got cancelled.  Some politics between the organizer and the community association.  Oh, well.  Like I said, I rarely do well at them (but there's always the hope!!).  I found out yesterday morning, and yesterday afternoon got a text from a friend suffering from ear infections (yes, two) saying thanks again for the magic bag because it's really helping and she doesn't know how anyone lives without one.  That was nice to get just when I was bummed about selling my stuff.  A reminder that they are a great product, and that there are other outlets for selling them.

The first ones I ever made.

And then today!  Today I got an order from Ambassador Coffee for a bunch of coffee cozies to sell in their newly renovated boutique shop out east.  Very cool.  I'm glad there are places that are interested in selling locally handmade goods. 

I'm pretty sure they make your coffee taste better.

I'm checking out Etsy as a place to host my shop.  Do any of you sell on Etsy or buy stuff through there?  I have bought a few things and quite like it.  The idea of people finding me when they want what I have to offer is a big pull, rather than me trying to find places to sell.  Just thinking it through at this point.  I'll let you know when I'm ready to launch.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


September.  Back to school and routine; funny how even though it's only one out of four in our family that is back to school, it still affects us all.

Madeline of course has the biggest changes - new school, having to get up earlier and walk half an hour to get there (which she enjoys, actually), getting to go out at lunch with her friends and get a drink at Starbucks if she wants...  Ah, the freedom.  I've mentioned soccer - that's a change, too, because now she's playing full field, 11 man, 90 minute games.  Youth group is also different; she's in senior youth now at church, and with different connections through camp, is interested in going to groups at other churches.  Ours is on Tuesdays, so that frees up her Friday nights to go with friends to theirs - I won't complain about the extra driving for that kind of a social life!

I also got an inhaler for her today.  She's had a cough for a while, and since we were at the doctor's anyway, I had him check it out.  Sounds like asthma, so she'll puff it up till the snow comes and see how it goes.

Changes for Nolan are coming up.  I'm planning to take him to the toddler storytime at the library, and he's registered for his first round of swimming lessons later this fall.  He'll be in the 'Duck' class.  He was sleeping through the night finally, but now is back to waking some... grr.  Will it never end?  He's got a cold which made last night really bad; hopefully when that's gone we can all get back to better sleeps.  He's learning lots of words and growing - those developmental spurts can be attributed to messing up sleep at this stage, too.  Sigh.  If you ever wanted to send up a prayer for us, we'd sure appreciate it!!

Changes for me?  My days are simpler again, with just Nolan around.  Planning for suppers can be challenging having to be flexible around M's soccer schedule, but we're settling into a routine where Sean will pick up subs or something after work and come out and join us at her games, so really I end up cooking less.  I do have to make M's lunch the night before, which sometimes is a chore if I forget until I'm ready for bed, but isn't too bad usually, and it makes the mornings way smoother.  I used to send leftovers or something that needed heating up lots, though, and now with only two microwaves for the whole cafeteria, I'm sending way more sandwiches.  Takes more planning since I can't just send what's on hand.  The plus side of that is that it's not a peanut free school, so pb & jelly, honey or banana are back in rotation!

I also am planning to do another craft sale later in November.  Part of me wonders why, since I have done really poorly at most sales I've ever been in, and there are other outlets to sell my stuff, but this is just a one day event close by, so it won't be a huge waste if nothing sells.  Six hours is more manageable than a whole weekend to be away from my family, too.

Sean is probably the least affected by September's back to routine.  The biggie is that instead of M coming up from her room after Dad leaves, she is now eating her breakfast when we come down and then playing piano while he's still home.  I'll admit that I like the togetherness before everyone goes their own way.

I hope your September is full of joy and stress free.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tidbits from the past week or so...

Madeline and Cailey - a friend from her other (red!) soccer team - playing against each other in their first high school games.  Wearing the same #21, too.

I gave Nolan another haircut.  We did the top / front sitting on the back deck Tuesday, and wasn't able to do the back until Saturday... You have to find the right balance of cooperation and quiet!  Then when he showed Dad, Dad thought it would be a good idea to style it up all spiky.  Pretty cute!

A downside to writing more letters is that I was getting a little too excited for the mail to come each day, thinking that writing more meant getting more... silly me.  But then I got TWO!  Kadence and Zach picked out cards and wrote in them and took them to the post office to send to Auntie - I smiled all day long.  They're sitting on my desk making me happy even now.

I found a great surprise when I was purging our bookshelf last week.  Back in 2007, I got bookmarks from my nephews with their school photos on them.  I had one in my bookmark box that I keep on the shelf, but had no idea where the other two had disappeared to, and that had made me sad a few times over the years.  I found them - in some of the books that I had been working through and forgotten, I guess - and that made me pretty happy, too.

Did you know there are three verses to Row, Row Row Your Boat?  We have a book of nursery rhymes that we've been pulling out at bedtime, and Row, Row Row Your Boat has been a favorite that I have sung hundreds of times lately, before putting him down for a nap or bed.  I'll leave you with this now and hope it gets stuck in your head.  You're welcome.

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently on the tide.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
To the other side.
Row, row, row your boat,
Gently back to shore.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Home for tea at four!

Monday, September 09, 2013


- How was her first week? asked our friend at church this Sunday, as we sat on the floor of the nursery, playing with babies.
- Good.  She made the school soccer team and their first game is tomorrow!
- Do you remember when I reffed her games?  That was a long time ago.  I think you guys were red?
- Red.  (I laughed.)  So many years she was red.

So many years of soccer under her belt already.  So many years of being on the red team, although there was a blue year, and a maroon, maybe?  Plus a few seasons of indoor.  Then this last year she played club soccer instead of community.  More cost, more committment, more competition... She's developing greater skills and a love of the sport.  Making great friends there, too.  And wearing red.

And now a new achievement - a new step, playing for the school in a season that fill the months till club starts up again.  A grade nine among the ones who have been wearing the black for years - new jersey, new competition, new friends.

(I'm linking this up today with Lisa-Jo Baker and her Five Minute Friday.)

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Little Pouches!

I've been wanting to sew some little pouches for a while now, and have a whole bunch of tutorials pinned and waiting... I finally jumped in, and made a whole bunch! I'm in love with these little beauties!

I love the bright colors, the colorful zippers, and the fun linings.  The orange with blue is in my purse, and I've given my mother-in-law one that is red with an orange inside.  It was special because it had zig zag stitching to fix the cut on the lining piece where Nolan practiced cutting with scissors.  I guess I shouldn't have taught him sitting at the sewing desk, but it made for a memorable fun little bag.

Click on over to the shop to see each one, if you'd like.  The shipping on these would be pretty cheap.  Just saying.  I've got more in the works already.

Thought I'd show you something else I finished recently.  These bibs are upcycled from an old towel - super solf, but the ends were frayed.  I used a bib my mom had made as a pattern and finished with bias tape and velcro.  They're great.

Lastly, a couple of better shots of the camera straps I made.  I'm going to have a table at the Women's Wellness Day at my family's church in Winnipeg at the beginning of November, so if you're planning to be there, you can pick something out in person.  There will be magic bags, coffee cozies, the little pouches and the camera straps.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

First Day of Grade Nine: The Photos

My Beautiful High Schooler

Still Goofy

And the one who didn't want to pose with her.
A little excitement on the first day of school - a domestic disturbance in the neighborhood made the police and school board put the school in lockdown.  No one in or out all day.  Didn't affect them much, just knowing it was going on was something to make the first day memorable.

I drove her to her friend's place in the morning so they could walk together, and after school we were off to the first piano lesson of the year.  After school today she's got tryouts for the school soccer team already.  Jumping right in!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Morning Fail - or - First Day of High School!

I wanted to post a first day of school photo for you today.

This morning, however, did not cooperate with that plan.  I though we had talked through all the stuff she needed to do, but for whatever reason - probably a dozen - the best laid plans were tossed in favor of rushing and stress and anger.

The anger on my part didn't last too long; once we were back home and settled playing in the back yard, I realized I should feel sympathy more than anger.  Yes, she could have had a much better morning, and hopefully all the mornings for the rest of the year will be!, but she is 14, and today is her first day of high school.  Who wouldn't be nervous about a new building, teachers, routines, and will I be able to find where I'm supposed to go?  Who wouldn't be nervous about finding her friends and meeting potential new ones and the sea of new faces, and boys, and whether friendships have changed over the summer, and if circles of girls can change? 

It is not a mom fail that she didn't respond as she has been trained when she was reminded to go back and brush her teeth. This morning as a whole was not great; not the worst we've ever had, but not one I'd like to repeat again soon, either; but it was not a mom fail.  It was one short morning that we get to do over tomorrow.  And the next day, and so on.  We each get unlimited second chances to practice better preparation, better routines, better responses.

So instead of first day photos, which I can still try to get this afternoon (and hm, the baby might actually be dressed by then), I'll share a few resources for Moms to help with the morning successes.

This post by Lysa TerKeurst is great on the school morning deal, and has links to a week's worth of emails she will send you to help you not become unglued over it all.

This post has five back to school prayers.

I'm halfway through this book and it has some pretty good stuff in it.

What helps your mornings to be great?